Where Old Meets New: Winning the Digital Outdoor Ad Game

It’s 2018, and the Mad Men days of advertising are over. By year’s end, digital advertising will increase 18.7% to a 107.3 billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone. By comparison, out-of-home (OOH) advertising—any ads shown outdoors—will reach just a fraction of that figure. But OOH is undergoing a digital revolution that brings the best of these two advertising worlds together. OOH is set to grow almost 12% by 2020—faster than any other traditional media—thanks to its digitalization. #TMGInsights dives into how to position your next ad campaign to capitalize on this change.

Relevancy, IRL

One of the most effective aspects of digital advertising is the ability to change it in real-time. Now that billboards, bus shelters, and more OOH options are going digital, the same perk applies. Netflix killed the game here. Netflix’s outdoor digital ads targeted its audience by responding to local news and current events with gifs from its popular TV shows and movies. When it rained, a rainy battle scene gif from Gladiator dominated the screens. When a hometown sports team won, a celebration gif from Orange Is the New Black took its place. Audiences appreciate relevant ads almost as much as they love gifs, so Netflix’s strategy made for a winning campaign that brought content usually just seen online to the streets.

Real-time data = Real-time decisions

Another way OOH is harnessing the power of digital is through the real-time data it offers. OOH companies partner with data companies to learn all they can about the users targeted by their ads. Clear Channel Outdoor teamed up with AT&T to access information like age, income, ethnicity, and gender of the AT&T users who pass by a Clear Channel outdoor ad. This data is collected continuously and updated frequently, allowing advertisers to know the demographic most likely to encounter its ad. From there, precision campaigns are designed for OOH just like they are for digital. Not only does mobile integration give advertisers a better sense of impressions earned, by it allows them to serve relevant ads that can convert to offline sales, city block by city block.

Selling social connection

So, what’s the final piece of the perfect 2018 IRL ad campaign? Social. For an OOH campaign in New York, Coors Light partnered with music-discovery app Shazam, asking its audience to scan the ad with the app to access a playlist of the area’s most-searched songs. The playlist updates every 15 minutes, giving the audience a real-time social connection to their neighborhood. Coors then took their campaign even farther to the digital side: users were geo-targeted with ads in the app directing them to the closest place they could pick up a Coors. This brought the offline online—and was a genius way to prove ROI.

Ellen Huber

Ellen Huber

Communications Strategist at The Moak Group
In an era of rapidly changing technology and content mediums, Ellen Huber brings to The Moak Group’s clients precision communication and marketing strategies that capture the latest in cutting-edge technology and distinctive branding and marketing.
Ellen Huber